Posted by Kristie Wells on March 31, 2015 in In The Community, News
Lou Szucs
Lou Szucs, photo credit: Trish Szucs St

We knew this day would come. In fact, we even knew the date it would happen. But this morning it finally sunk in … Loretto Dennis (“Lou”) Szucs is officially retiring today.

I am filled with mixed emotions as while I am thrilled for her to be able to spend more time with her family, her wise counsel and incredible spirit will be missed.

Lou ‘officially’ joined Ancestry in 1992 as employee number one, and to say she has been through a few changes would be a massive understatement. She has also worn many hats over the last 23 years, but none seem better suited than that of Vice President of Community Relations. As a widely-respected and beloved member of the genealogy community, Lou has represented Ancestry at conferences and inside genealogical societies, including holding a seat on several boards. She is a trusted voice in the community and a wonderful community advocate.

There have been several memorable moments with Lou, but I think the first time I met her was my favorite. I had been with the company for just over two months and decided to attend the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference (FGS) taking place in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Upon arrival, I went straight to the Ancestry booth on the show floor. Everyone was pretty busy, so I stood by the side, waiting for a break so I could introduce myself. Lou walked up to me and asked if I needed help. I explained who I was, she immediately hugged me and welcomed me to the show. She then proceeded to introduce me to everyone else there. That is Lou. Always there to help you, connect you or guide you.

After the introductions, I looked closely at Lou’s badge and was floored by all the ribbons she had. If ever there was a picture that could show just how involved in the genealogy community she is, this is it (knowing this is only a small subset of the programs she is involved in).

LouSzucs-beard
Lou Szucs conference badge. The collection of ribbons is called a ‘beard’ in the genealogy community.

Lou is an accomplished author – penning several books, including The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogya genealogical staple found in the home of most serious genealogists. She is invited to speak at conferences and societies and her tutorials are always entertaining and informative as she is a natural born storyteller. She has been a guiding light to 1000s of people, helping them walk down the right genealogical path. Lou believes her friends are your friends and she is willing to connect you to anyone in her contact list. Her passion for family history is infectious and she has inspired many of us to dig deep into our own stories. To top it all off, Lou is incredibly sweet. Sugary, but in a tasty, just enough to keep you wired way, not the generating cavities kind of way.

Lou’s mentorship and guidance is something cherished by many of us here. Her contribution to the field cannot be overstated, and we have been proud and grateful for her representation of Ancestry.

Please join us in thanking Lou for her decades of service to Ancestry and in wishing her all the best in her retirement.

All I ask is even with all her newly found ‘free time’ that she leaves some Kelly’s for her daughter Juliana to find in their family tree. (you are welcome Juliana) 🙂

 

We would love to hear your Lou stories and ask that you either share them in the comments below or share your own blog or social post using the #LoveYouLou hashtag.  

 

 

Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's former Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement.

11 Comments

  1. Garnet Elliott

    Just wondering, if Lou joined Ancestry in 1982 then wouldn’t she have worn many hats over the last 33 years rather than 23 or I’m I not reading this correctly?

  2. Kristie Wells

    Lou started writing chapters of “The Source” in 1982, so her affiliation with Ancestry goes back that far. She was hired on as an employee in 1992.

  3. Congrats, Lou! You are a special, one of a kind person! What an awesome tribute Kristie penned for Lou, though as wonderful as it is, I am sure she and others could write for days, even months, and still not come close to identifying all those things Lou did with grace and style. What an amazing career, and an amazing person who continues to touch so many lives.

  4. Daniel Horowitz

    Dear Lou, I would like to make public my appreciation for you as a colleague in the genealogy industry. I wish you the best of lucks in this retirement and hope you can achieve all the personal goals you have for this new phase of your life.

  5. Barbara Powell

    Best wishes in your retirement. Continued success in your genealogy goals. Thank you for all you have done at Ancestry & in the genealogy community.

  6. Julie Mitchell

    Congratulations, Lou! You are truly an inspiration, and truly one of the kindest, sweetest, and most hard working people I’ve ever met. I’m grateful for your example!

  7. Jen de Fiebre

    From the first moment you meet Lou, you are a friend for life. She is quite simply the warmest, kindest, sweetest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I will miss my chances to get a hug, but I am happy for her new chapter and thankful for all she has done for our community. It will take a village to fill her shoes.

  8. Joan Emerson da costa

    Lou, just reading today about you is an inspiration. What light and joy you have brought to those around you. And those at a distance, like me, this morning. Thank for your ??? Leadership, role, model…no word seems right to me. Perhaps, just…light. Joan Emerson da costa.

  9. Dean L. McLeod

    Lou, our paths crossed many times in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when APG was just an upstart idea. Your persistence is a lesson to us weaker vessels.

  10. Congratulations Lou! The National Archives at New York City wishes you all the best. We appreciate and thank you for your generous support of us over the years! And we hope you stop in and see us when ever you are back in the city! Best of luck!

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